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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Recently, Mrs. Robbo suggested that we should put in a big patch of periwinkle under teh cluster of maple trees that dominate one corner of the Port Swiller Manor back yard. Nothing much grows there now (except some onion grass) and mulching it annually, in addition to being an expensive nuisance, isn’t really all that satisfying.

In fact, it’s a pretty good idea and Mrs. R receives full marks for coming up with it but honestly, you’d think after thirty-plus years together Ol’ Robbo would learn to know what’s coming when she says “we” should do this or that project. D’Oh!

I put in about 30 last weekend and another box of 100 roots arrived yesterday. Guess what Ol’ Robbo gets to spend tomorrow morning doing.

“Blow, winds, and kerrrr-ACK thy cheeks!” UPDATE: It’s turned out to be a very windy day in my neighborhood with gusts cranking up to 50+ mph. I’m hearing a lot cracks and snaps back in the woods, which means I’ll probably have to clear debris under the maples even before I can get started planting.

On top of all the other yardwork on tap, tomorrow is going to be a long, long day. Ah, spring!

UPDATE DEUX: Hokie-Shmokies! That first update was meant to be largely humorous, but in fact a goodly deal of lumber did fall in the neighborhood. (Thank Heaven the trees were dry, or it might have been a lot worse!) Lots of branches down where Ol’ Robbo intends to plug the periwinkle, and a big tree snapped in half along our neighbor’s back line. And for the very first time since we had it installed, Ol’ Robbo admits some benefit from the generator for which he shelled out so many jimmy o’goblins some years ago.

UPDATE TROIS: Whelp, Ol’ Robbo wound up spending something close to seven hours today laboring in the desmaine, and I’m here to tell you I am mighty sore and stiff. As for Mrs. R’s box of periwinkle cuttings, well, I duly put them in. Some might live, some will certainly not. She got them dirt-cheap on ebay from some place in Pennsylvania, but when I opened the box I was not particularly impressed with the roots on some of them. Perhaps better in future to get the potted ones with solid root development and pony up a little extra coin. Still…’s a pretty tough plant, so we shall see.

Anyhoo, the main reason Ol’ Robbo wanted to go for the update hat-trick is simply to note that something today made it abundantly clear that “early” spring is over and done with and that we’re now in full overdrive. All the leaves on the trees are suddenly fully open. All the buds on the spring bloomers are swelling and ready to burst. And the catbirds are back. I can’t really describe it precisely, but I fully sense that a boundary-line has been passed.


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April 2021